Following a small page and spending surge in June - the industry's first appreciable uptick since the beginning of the b-to-b ad decline in November 2000 - pages (9.7%) and spending (7.9%) slid again in July. For the year to date, pages are down 4.1% and spending is off 0.2%.
While the B-to-B ad downturn was anticipated, American Business Media president and chief executive officer Gordon Hughes nonetheless sought to put some positive spin on the balance of 2003, noting , "What we're hearing from our members is that the early fourth-quarter results are not as strong as expected." The group is now estimating 1-3% spending growth for the year.
Business-to-Business Ad Pages, Dollar Trends
August '03 1st 8 Months '03
Ad Pages -6.4% -4.1%
Ad Dollars -3.6% -0.2%
Source: Business Information Network, American Business Media, CMR. Of the 12 ad categories monitored by ABM, only services/direct response/classified and drugs/toiletries showed page gains in August (both were up 2.4% against the year-ago period). While manufacturing/electrical equipment (23.2%) and computers (22.4%) suffered the biggest percentage drops, even the venerable automotive category was down (3.0%).
In terms of spending, four of 12 categories improved in August: automotive (36.7%), services/direct response/classified (7.5%), drugs/toiletries (6.1%) and retail (2.3%). Double losers (pages/spending) included software, manufacturing/electrical equipment, materials/components, finance/business/advertising, travel and telecom.